Monday, April 21, 2008

Pair of O's Ready to Return to Seattle

BALTIMORE -- George Sherrill and Adam Jones have already played against their former team, but they haven't been back to their first home stadium. Both Sherrill and Jones will get to experience Safeco Field for the first time as a visiting opponent next week, when the Orioles play a three-game series against the Mariners that starts on Tuesday and ends on Thursday.

Both Sherrill and Jones arrived in the offseason trade for Erik Bedard, and both played a role when Baltimore swept three games from Seattle in the first week of the season. Both players have repeatedly stressed that their Seattle tenure is behind them, but they admitted on Sunday that it will be interesting to return to their former home park.

"I'm just waiting to see how I get received," said Sherrill. "Usually, they're pretty good about it -- unless you choose to leave them. They get on [Alex Rodriguez] pretty good. It's going to be good to see the city, the stadium and everything."

"I hope they cheer," added Jones. "If they don't, I'm on the opposite team now. It doesn't matter."

Baltimore is coming off one difficult segment of its schedule and heading into another one. The Orioles just played 18 games without a day off, and they posted an 11-7 record over that span. Now, Baltimore will play 17 of its next 20 games on the road, a stretch that takes the team to Seattle, Chicago, Anaheim and Oakland.

With that in mind, Orioles manager Dave Trembley re-arranged his starting rotation to have his best arms facing forward. Jeremy Guthrie and Daniel Cabrera will start the first two games of the trip, and southpaw Adam Loewen will be pushed back to start the Seattle finale. That arrangement, said Trembley, is designed to keep Guthrie and Cabrera on track.

"We're trying to keep Guthrie and Cabrera on five [days' rest] if we possibly can," said Trembley. "With off-days, both of those guys have been skipped two or three times [or] have pitched on six days' rest more than the other guys. This is the only off-day we have for a while. Both of those guys are coming off very strong outings.

"Let's see if we can keep them as close to the routing that they're on as possible. It's that simple."

Trembley also said that Loewen threw two extra sidelines since his last start in an effort to improve his fastball command. Sherrill, meanwhile, pitched on Sunday and is looking forward to facing his former teammates.

"You always wonder about that," Sherrill said, speaking about his former team's familiarity with his stuff. "You try to put it in your head to make everything the same. They know everything about you. They get to see what you've got up close and personal for a few years. You've just got to still make your pitches and hope they don't know too much."

Pitching matchup
BAL: RHP Jeremy Guthrie (0-1, 4.38 ERA)
Guthrie went 2-5 with a 4.15 ERA at home and 5-0 with a 3.25 mark on the road last season.

SEA: RHP Felix Hernandez (2-0, 1.47 ERA)
Hernandez has pitched into the seventh inning in all of his starts and has yet to allow more than two earned runs.

Bird bites
The Orioles, who have had two games rained out this season, braved a pair of 37-minute rain delays in Sunday's game. ... Left fielder Luke Scott saw his seven-game hitting streak snapped on Sunday. ... Chad Bradford allowed his first home run of the season on Sunday. Bradford allowed one home run in each of the past three seasons and has allowed four since the start of 2005.

On the Internet
Gameday Audio
• Gameday
• Official game notes

On television
• MASN 2

On radio
• WHFS 105.7

Up next
• Wednesday: Orioles (Daniel Cabrera, 1-0, 5.16) at Mariners (Carlos Silva, 3-0, 2.79), 10:10 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Orioles (Adam Loewen, 1-0, 6.32) at Mariners (TBD), 10:10 p.m. ET
• Friday: Orioles (Brian Burres, 2-1, 3.63) at White Sox (TBD), 8:11 p.m. ET


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